Anyone, even just the casual lifter or bodybuilder wannabe, at one point or another in the fitness game has come across Gaspari Nutrition. Notorious for giving their products as part of free giveaways and other promotions on nutritional websites and other fitness-related vendors has recently filed for bankruptcy. After having to painfully admit that the company was not profitable and officially throwing the towel in, it seems like the brand and its benefactors would be able to walk away, scathed but not totally out of the fight.
Unfortunately for them, not only are they taking one on the chin due to the bankruptcy, but Gaspari Nutrition is also running into some issues because they now they owe a big-time settlement because they were sneakily trying to sell real anabolic steroidal drugs as dietary supplements, which is a violation. A bankruptcy court based out of New Jersey approved the suit that is resulting in the settlement. The suit itself was headed by a company known as ThemoLife, and among those named in the suit are former IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari (Gaspari Nutrition’s namesake), Bruce Kneller, and Daniel Pierce, who alongside Gaspari were the principal leaders of the company and its formulations.
ThermoLife is a company that was basically getting products from the formulators and designers at Gaspari Nutrition. They allege that Gaspari and his compatriots had knowingly spiked and put products that were not listed in the ingredients inside some of the products they sold. This meant that not only was it false advertising, but it was potentially dangerous as some of these drugs could have side effects that could have major consequences for those taking the drugs/supplements. It’s not uncommon for natural or assumingly innocuous nutritional products to be spiked with anabolics or other illegal performance enhancers to give users the illusion that the natural product really works.
Aside from its own accusations, ThermoLife had the backing of some industry experts and letters that were sent to Gaspari Nutrition directly from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is typically the expert source for anything regarding dietary supplements as they are in charge of regulating products, but it’s important to understand that many products that are sold in the supplement marketplace are not FDA-approved, and this is a common warning label seen on the sides of bottles and formulations that often become immensely popular. Gaspari Nutrition was selling two products in particular, their Halodrol Liquidgels and Novedex XT, both of which were marketed as natural products even though they had illegal products inside of them. Halodrol essentially had synthetics inside of it that were not natural and the Novedex XT had aromastase inhibitor-like chemicals inside of it, meaning that essentially, these were two products marketed as dietary supplements that were really chemically behaving like anabolics or real-life performance enhancing, pharmaceutical drugs (anabolic steroids)
The head of Thermolife is Rob Kramer. Kramer and his company filed the suit against Gaspari over six years ago, in late 2017, things finally came together and it turned out that the court ruled in favor of them, thanks to the assistance of the federal government and expert witnesses.
While the settlement is over, it turns out that it isn’t over for some, that includes the newest co-owner of Gaspari Nutrition Jared Wheat, who bought the company after Gaspari filed for bankruptcy a few years ago. Thinking he was buying low and getting a good potential payoff, he may be facing several years in prison if the over 18 felony counts are confirmed against him relating to Gaspari’s recent improprieties.
Jared Wheat has faced many accusations in the past relating to similar violations regarding spiked products, and if convicted, it would be the third time he’s been to prison on drug related charges.